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The Greyhound

The Greyhound

The Student News Site of Loyola University Maryland

The Greyhound

Path to Multimedia Storytelling: A network for the future


On Feb. 12, the communication department and Career Center hosted Path to Multimedia Storytelling, a panel and networking event with both alumni and faculty in the communication field.

The evening began with an hour of a moderated panel followed by a Q&A session. Afterward, there were refreshments and tables set up where students could talk to current faculty as well as the panelists to network and talk face-to-face.

Penelope Flury ’87, the program assistant at the Career Center, had hopes for the event before it began. “This event will help current students because it will give them a glimpse into how they can be successful in the communication realm.”

Dr. Sara Magee, associate professor and chair of the department of communication, moderated the event as well as played a role in creating it. “We knew with job fairs and things in the past, a lot of them, just by the nature of them, had a lot of business stuff and not a lot of communication. We heard from students that they would really like some more communication-based elements to explore jobs,” she said.

Since an event like this was new, in conjunction with the Career Center, the communication department was trying something different. “We wanted to find a new way to think about things and thought it would be nice to do a panel where we could talk about and let students meet, mingle, and interact and that way to give them a different sense of things,” Magee said.

The panelists were Beairshelle Edme, a weekend anchor for CBS 17 News; Mike Memoli ’04, a national political reporter for NBC News; Christopher Nelson ’08, a coordinating producer for MSNBC; Megan Pringle, a reporter and anchor for WBAL-TV 11 News and a new professor at Loyola; and Ashley N. Vaughan ’10, a producer for CNN Special Projects.

It was evident that in today’s standards, those in the communication field need to know how to do everything. Pringle had some input on how those in the field used to carry around heavy equipment, but now, everything is done from our mobile devices.

Throughout the event, Magee asked questions ranging anywhere from how multimedia storytelling impacts the panelists in their jobs to where journalism is going to important skills needed to be a multimedia storyteller.

“The future of media is digital,” said Vaughan. “Today, somebody will be there to capture it.”

Edme added how multimedia storytelling is what they have to do “every day, whether it is reporting on Facebook Live, Instagram Live, or any other aspect of the web.” For multimedia journalism, she said, there is shooting, editing, web article, real-worlds for one story.

Due to this shift into the fully digital age, the era of journalism is changing.

“Reporters are part of the story in a way that they never have been before. You need to have the chops to write and tell a story but also demonstrate integrity and fairness that wasn’t assumed before by maintaining neutrality and telling the story with real-life empathy,” Memoli said.

Pringle also added how it is “important to be first but also to be right.” In the world of fake news especially, journalists have to vet now more than anything to the people being interviewed.

Edme also discussed how nobody waits for the news anymore. People get constant updates throughout the day with push alerts, and everything is digitally shown. “We aren’t going to wait to tell you the news until 6 p.m. or 11 p.m. We are going to tell you on Facebook, Twitter, and our website,” she said. “We have all become investigative journalists as well, and fact-checking is important.”

With students who are either at the beginning of their college career or about to be thrown into a real-world career, the panelists and alumni had some words of advice for everyone.

“Go into whatever you want to do, but be generalists rather than specialists,” Nelson said. “You need to be able to do a lot. You can dig into something deeper, but do a lot while being able to focus on specifics as well.”

“Write, write, write, write, write,” said Vaughan. “You really need to learn how to shoot and learn to edit as well as think about all platforms first. I wish I had done it in school. You need those technical skills. Also, start now and be kind. Treat everyone with respect and dignity.”

“You have to be everything,” Pringle said. “We are that generation—everything boils down to relationships, so talk to someone who has a completely different life than you. It may not come naturally, but step outside of your comfort zone.”

“Don’t be intimidated to tell people’s stories. You have to be willing to take personal risk (sic), be ambitious beyond personal doubt, and push yourself to go outside of your comfort zone,” Memoli said. “Be curious, be fluent in what is going on outside of your comfort zone, and don’t be a jerk. This will help in personal life as well as networking.”

Edme echoed everyone. “You have to know how to write, know how to shoot, and learn how to edit. The activities that you are able to do [at Loyola] gives you a global view. You can see how other people interact, so get involved in the community.”

Flury, someone who was a part of creating this event, also emphasized these points in the purpose for her participation. “In today’s world, people in communication have to be multifaceted, so this is how people got to where they are and what students can do to be successful,” she said.  

For the alumni on the panel, and even Pringle who is new to our community, they closed with what going to Loyola can mean for students’ futures.

“The best gift Loyola gave me was my trip to study abroad,” Vaughan said. “I was going to school but also working in the community. It changed me and made me want to share stories and learn the responsibilities to have to be able to share stories. It really gives you a global perspective, and you need the ability to think broadly and beyond yourself.”

“The Loyola value ‘strong truths well lived’ is something we need to take into the newsroom every day. Also, writing is fundamental. Be a good listener, whether it’s doing interviews or hearing what is not said,” Nelson said. “You need to think critically, have ethics, and make good decisions because that’s what journalism is, whether about how to tell the story, research it, or eventually get the story out there.”

Memoli said the idea of the “focus on the whole person” is important. “The best stories told are when you look beyond what is given to you,” she said.

“A liberal arts education opens up your world, and you are now meeting people from all over,” Pringle said. “It is a great gift, and it will be useful to go out and talk to people from all walks of life.”

Image courtesy of the Greyhound News

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Path to Multimedia Storytelling: A network for the future